DTNO.1 DT8 Ultra smartwatch review - More appearance than reality
At first glance, DTNO.1's DT8 Ultra looks confusingly similar to an Apple Watch Ultra - that won't be a coincidence. The strap of the original also comes in bright orange. DTNO.1 also advertises with the claim Adventure Explorer on its website - which fits the Apple Watch Ultra's prey. However, the manufacturer classifies the model as a fashion smartwatch in its own ranking. However, the DT8 Ultra also has an MSRP of 70 Euros (~$75), while almost 1,000 Euros (~$1072) are due for the Apple Watch Ultra.
The DT8 Ultra is only available in one configuration, and it always comes with an orange silicone strap. However, the manufacturer offers other models with a similar look, such as DT8 Max, DT8 Ultra +, DT8 Pro or DT8 Ultra Max. There is no LTE version.
Housing and equipment - metal housing and IP68
DTNO.1 relies on metal for the DT8 Ultra's casing and refers to an alloy itself without mentioning details. The 2-inch display is protected by glass, but the manufacturer does not provide any further details. DTNO.1 relies on plastic for the sensors on the underside.
The watch has a pressable crown and two additional buttons. The manufacturer has also installed a speaker and a microphone. The band has a width of 22 millimeters (~0.9 in) and can be changed without tools. However, it is not a standard connector, so special replacement bands have to be purchased. It is questionable where to buy such bands, the manufacturer itself only offers watches.
The watch weighs 47 grams (~1.7 oz) without straps, with straps it is 64 grams (~2.3 oz). The workmanship is convincing. The buttons sit firmly and have a good pressure point. There were also no scratches or signs of use on the device in the test.
According to the manufacturer, the casing is IP68 certified, but the watch should not be used for swimming. The smartwatch has NFC, but does not support Google Wallet or other Western payment providers.
Setup and operation - DT8 Ultra with connection problems
The WearPro app is required to set up and operate the smartwatch. The program is available for both Android and iOS devices. After the installation, the software searches for available devices in the vicinity, and the DT8 Ultra was immediately recognized and paired. Afterwards, the app has to be granted some rights so that it can send notifications and phone calls to the watch, for example.
Some functions of the watch can only be used when another connection is established as an audio device in addition to the Bluetooth connection for data transfer. Only then are phone calls with the watch possible, and only then does the voice assistant work. However, all media tones are then also output via the watch's speaker.
In the test, there were many disconnections between the smartwatch and the smartphone. With a Google Pixel 5 there were significantly more disconnections than with a Honor Magic4 Lite. However, the connection was never stable for days. In some cases, the connection had to be actively re-established in the app. In some cases, only resetting the clock helped.
The app is clearly structured. It provides an overview of the collected body data in the Health tab, an overview of completed sports units under Sports, and settings for the smartwatch under Device. However, the customization options are limited. It is mainly about basic permissions, such as call forwarding, transferring app notifications or changing the watch face.
The DT8 Ultra is operated via the two-inch capacitive touchscreen as well as via the crown and two buttons in the casing. The crown is rotatable and can be used to scroll through menus. It offers a haptic springback via the built-in vibration motor. If the user is not in a menu, turning the crown leads to switching through the stored dials. This also happened unintentionally several times in the test. Pressing the button in a menu leads back to the home screen.
The button below the crown opens an overview of the most recently opened programs. The button below the speaker opens the sports menu. Sports that can be tracked with the watch are listed there.
Swiping from top to bottom opens the quick menu with access to the display brightness - which is not automatically controlled via a sensor - and the media controls. Swiping from left to right opens another quick menu with focus on notifications and telephony. The most recently received messages are displayed there.
Swiping from right to left leads through tiles that present information on certain topics. In the factory settings, these are activities, pulse values, blood oxygen saturation, skin temperature and ECG.
Swiping from bottom to top opens the app menu. The display of the apps can be customized. A list display or various grids are available for selection. The sorting seems arbitrary and is not alphabetical. A swipe from the left edge to the center always takes you back one step in menus. A double tap on the activated display opens the voice assistant.
Telephony and notifications - telephony with restrictions
Telephony is possible with the DT8 Ultra as long as a smartphone is paired via Bluetooth and within range. The watch also has to be connected as an audio device. The other party's voice is output clearly and loudly from the speaker, but the connection is rather poor for the other party. The voice sounds slightly distorted, tinny and partly doubled.
The DT8 Ultra reliably displays notifications when a Bluetooth connection is established. However, the messages are heavily abbreviated. Only the sender and subject line are displayed in emails, for example. Long messages in messengers are also shortened. The smartwatch cannot display pictures and emojis. Replies are also not possible on the watch.
Voice assistant - Convenient access on the DT8 Ultra
The integrated voice assistant only works when the watch is connected as a Bluetooth media device in addition to the normal connection. Access via the double tap on the display is convenient and works reliably. When the assistant is activated, Google Assistant opens on the smartphone. The request is received and the answer is displayed on the smartphone screen. However, the smartwatch's microphone and speakers are used for voice commands and speech output.
Health and fitness - Few options with the DT8 Ultra
The DT8 Ultra's fitness data is collected in the WearPro app. Under the Health tab, the software prominently displays the steps currently taken and the step goal, the distance covered, and the calories burned. It also provides an overview of sleep, pulse, blood pressure, blood oxygenation, and temperature.
In the sports section, completed workouts are displayed. The list can be sorted by days, weeks and months, and the software also differentiates between different sports. The DT8 Ultra does not offer automatic training recording.
Synchronization with Google Fit or other services like Strava or Komoot is not possible without third-party software.
The DT8 Ultra displays the activity targets in the familiar circles. The watch displays the circles partly directly in the dial, but in any case in the side-swipeable cards. Confusingly, the circles displayed on the map are only an example and do not show the current data of the day. They are only visible in the submenu, but then displayed as bars.
The watch tracks steps, distances and calories burned. However, the stress level, floors climbed or VO2max are not displayed. There is also no activity reminder after long periods of sitting down - at the desk, for example.
Heart rate, heart rhythm and blood oxygen saturation
The DT8 Ultra offers ECG, pulse, temperature, blood pressure and blood oxygen measurements. To better classify the values, we compared them with those of reference devices.
To measure the pulse values, we took the DT8 Ultra on a bike tour together with a Polar H10 chest strap. The smartwatch showed an enormous deviation of 20.75% in the resting pulse compared to the chest strap. Pulse values during the sports session could not be determined or are not stored in the app.
The smartwatch is more accurate in measuring blood oxygen. On average of three measurements, the DT8 Ultra shows a deviation of 1.68% compared with the values of the Braun Pulse Oximeter 1.
The accuracy of the smartwatch drops significantly again for the skin temperature values. The deviation is 24.1% compared to the Voltcraft IR-260 reference device.
The values of the blood pressure measurement are also not very useful. While the DT8 Ultra measures a blood pressure of 103 to 67 mmHg with a pulse of 76, the Medisana BU510 reference device shows a blood pressure of 121 to 72 mmHg with a pulse of 60. There is no option to calibrate the blood pressure measurement, such as with the Samsung Galaxy Watch5.
When measuring the ECG, the software only displays the recorded curves on the paired smartphone, but does not provide an evaluation.
Except for the values of the blood oxygen measurement, the health data is unusable with such large deviations.
Sleep tracking - Plain and unreliable
The DT8 Ultra's sleep tracking is very rudimentary. The software displays the total sleep time, as well as values for light sleep, deep sleep and waking phases. However, the recorded values should be treated with caution. Sometimes the watch displayed much shorter times in the test, for example only four hours of sleep, although the tester slept for almost eight hours. The DT8 Ultra does not recognize naps at all, and a smart alarm clock is also missing.
Training recording - DT8 Ultra provides little data
The recording of a workout can be started directly on the watch. However, the information displayed during the workout is sparse. When walking or running, the watch only displays the total time, the steps taken, the calories burned and the heart rate. The information is displayed on one page, there are no multiple training screens. All three buttons can only be used to pause the workout, they do not offer more functions.
The app displays additional data after the workout, such as the average speed or the cadence. However, the speed values are implausible. The recording of a bike ride did not succeed at all in the test. The software also displays the cadence and steps when a bike workout is started, and the menu is not adapted to the sport.
GPS and navigation - No independent connection
The DT8 Ultra cannot establish its own GNSS connection. Therefore, recording routes is only possible with a paired smartphone.
Display - DT8 Ultra does not break any records
The DT8 Ultra has a 2-inch rectangular IPS display. The manufacturer DTNO.1 advertises a peak brightness of 2000 nits, which is supposed to make the smartwatch the brightest display on the market. Our measurements are very far away from this value. Our measurement shows a maximum brightness of 219 cd/m², which is not record-breaking.
The smartwatch also lacks an automatic brightness adjustment. The DT8 Ultra should get brighter especially in the sun, where the readability of the display is not particularly good.
The smartwatch has an always-on display, although the function is limited. This is because the watchface gives way to a reduced display of the time after a few seconds, and the style can be adjusted. However, this display is not really permanent, but the display goes out completely after a few minutes.
In return, the lift detection works quickly and reliably. The display can also be activated by touching the screen. The resolution of the display is 321 PPI. The resolution looks grainy in parts, and single pixels are visible up close.
Performance and runtime - With slight jerks
DTNO.1 uses an RTK8762DK as SiP. Since the clock does not support a browser, benchmark measurements are not possible. The operation is smooth in everyday use. However, there are jerks when several inputs are made in succession. The UI sometimes hangs when switching between two displays, for example between two tiles or when switching from the watch face to the app launcher.
DTNO.1 does not provide any information about the installed memory. However, it is only needed for the watchfaces because there is no app store and no possibility to play music locally.
DTNO.1 promises a battery life of five days for the DT8 Ultra. This value is realistic when the always-on display is not used. However, it is just under four days with activated AoD when the watch is worn continuously. The smartwatch is charged wirelessly via the Qi standard. However, the charging times are quite long. The smartwatch charges from 0 to 40 percent in one hour. It takes two hours and 30 minutes for a full charge.
A special feature of the watch is that it only indicates the battery level very inaccurately in 20 percent increments. At some point, the display jumps from 20 to 0 percent. The DT8 Ultra then continues to run for a certain time until it eventually goes out.
To extend the runtime, the smartwatch offers both an energy-saving mode and a pure watch mode without notifications.
Verdict - DT8 Ultra unfortunately only a dazzler
The DT8 Ultra is unfortunately only visually Ultra. The feature set is very good on paper, but the smartwatch cannot deliver on most promises. The display is rather dark instead of industry-leading. The readings for pulse and skin temperature are so inaccurate that they are unusable.
The need for a separate Bluetooth connection for audio signals is also annoying. Even worse, however, are the constant disconnections to the smartphone. As a result, the DT8 Ultra is no good as a reliable smartwatch for notifications.
However, DTNO.1 keeps one promise - the DT8 Ultra is a fashion smartwatch. It looks like an Apple Watch Ultra and is well made.
Those who wear a smartwatch primarily for its looks and otherwise mainly want to know the time are in the right place. Others should rather look at fitness trackers like the Huawei Band 7 or the Xiaomi Smartband 7. They offer more features for a similar price.
Price and availability
The DT8 Ultra is currently only available from Chinese retailers such as Aliexpress. The RRP is supposed to be around 70 Euros (~$75).
The present review sample was given to the author by the manufacturer free of charge for the purposes of review. There was no third-party influence on this review, nor did the manufacturer receive a copy of this review before publication. There was no obligation to publish this review.